As a popular major for college students in the United States, sociology opens doors to a variety of professions for graduates of accredited universities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals there are around 2,600 jobs for sociologists in the United States. However, the BLS expects no significant change regarding new jobs in the next several years. Therefore, a sociology graduate may find it valuable to consider other professions that may use the knowledge a student would gain in a sociology program. Below are 10 of the highest paying jobs for sociology grads.
Archaeologists work in a variety of environments where they study many facets of human development and behavior. With median pay of approximately $61,000 a year, a sociology graduate may enjoy a healthy salary while also working in a fascinating field that could mean world travel and work in many different countries. A sociology graduate who would find it interesting to work for the government, a consulting firm, or a research organization may wish to explore the opportunities available in archaeology.
Sociology graduates who enjoy research and studying statistics, history, and figures may enjoy a career as an economist. With median pay of more than $99,000 a year, economists enjoy a healthy salary while also having opportunities in many areas of the workforce. Economists play an essential role in government operations, so employment is frequently available in government at the federal, state, and local levels. Working as an economist may require the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines, which may require a particular type of personality.
3. GUIDANCE COUNSELORS
There are hundreds of thousands of guidance counselors working around the country today, and the knowledge gained in a sociology program is ideal for understanding the work of a school or career counselor. A counselor may help a student or person make important decisions about education, a career, or other important life choices. The BLS reveals school and career counselors earn a median pay of $53,660 a year and may have a master’s degree when they begin work. Sociology graduates who enjoy working face-to-face with other people may enjoy the work of a guidance counselor.
4. HUMAN RESOURCES REPRESENTATIVE
The average human resources department employs a variety of professionals from specialists to managers, and a sociology graduate may seek work in many roles within HR. For example, a sociology graduate with a bachelor’s degree may find an entry-level job as a Human Resources Specialist or a Human Resources Manager. Managers typically earn more money than specialists, but there is a lot of income variation within the industry. A human resources specialist can see a healthy median pay of more than $58,000 a year. Anyone who is organized and enjoys working in an office environment with coworkers may enjoy work in human resources.
As is not unexpected, one of the highest paying jobs for a sociology graduate is work as a lawyer. A sociology graduate with a bachelor’s degree will need to continue on to receive a doctoral or professional degree in law, but a bachelor’s degree in sociology is an ideal starting point from which to launch a career in law. The legal realm offers work that requires extensive research and reading, and certain types of lawyers may also need to work in highly stressful environments like courtrooms. A sociology degree is valuable for any lawyer because of the insight such a degree offers on interacting with and reading other human beings, as well as the median pay of more than $115,000 per year.
6. MARKET RESEARCH ANALYST
Much like the work required of lawyers and economists, market research analysts must spend time looking at data, information, and statistics. Extensive reading and study allow the market research analyst to make predictions about the type of products and services that people want. This information helps companies decide what type of products to develop, how to market those products, and what prices would encourage the highest sales. The BLS expects healthy job growth for market research analysts, which means a sociology graduate may want to choose this profession for good job prospects and a great median pay potential of $62,000.
7. POLICY ANALYSTS
Sociology graduates who find they have an aptitude for problem-solving and are interested in working within the government may want to look at the career of a policy analyst or political scientist. Policy analysts often have degrees in philosophy or sociology, and they work for the government, as well as “think tanks” and various privately funded groups. A policy analyst may help shape policy for many social issues that include healthcare, the environment, and the criminal justice system. With a graduate degree, pay may reach a median salary of $99,000 a year.
8. PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALIST
Many of the highest paying positions for sociology graduates require a graduate degree for entry-level work and the highest salaries. For students who wish to enter the workforce immediately after earning a bachelor’s degree, work as a public relations specialist could offer the best route to steady work and a good paycheck. The BLS reveals that median pay for public relations specialists is more than $56,000 a year. Sociology graduates who are interested in the way people perceive others may find it interesting to work as a public relations specialist.
9. SOCIAL WORKERS
Working as a social worker can be an emotionally demanding experience, and many social workers are fiercely dedicated to the people they help. The BLS expects healthy growth of positions for social workers in the next decade with median pay of approximately $45,000 a year. Social workers may find work with almost any type of population, from at-risk youth to the elderly, as well as all ages between childhood and retirement. Anyone who wants to work with people more than conduct research about them will thrive in the important career of a social worker.
While there are many diverse avenues to explore as a sociology graduate, work as a sociologist may end up as the best route a student can take. Anyone who wants to work as a researcher and enjoys the insights afforded by the study of human social behavior will enjoy working as a sociologist. The BLS reveals that sociologists may expect a median salary of around $73,000 a year with a graduate degree, but some jobs are available after undergraduate school, too. An advanced degree is a route to consider for students who wish to increase their earning potential.